Not much to report lately as new developments are slower to come these days. On a daily basis I donít even notice my shoulder any moreÖ..unless I am doing my PT exercises or I am in the pool, things are feeling fairly normal! Iíve steadily continued to improve with my range of motion and right now Iíd say Iíve got 70-80% of my full range back. Itís been almost 3 months since the surgery (11 weeks, 2 days) so Iíd say thatís pretty good! I can get into a streamline position fairly easily now
I see my surgeon for my 3 month follow up at the beginning of February. My PT wants me to ask her if she wants me to continue PT until I get 100% of my full range back, or if I should slow down and hang out around 90% or so for a while. The theory is that my range will fully come back in time, so itís more about becoming too loose too quickly. I imagine that Iíll loosen up quite a bit after I start swimming again, so no huge reason to rush back to 100% when 90% may be better for the long term for now. In fact many of my measurements are actually considered Ďnormalí at this point, even though I still have a bit more to go to match up with my other shoulder. However that isnít a bad thing since my other shoulder is, of course, quite flexible and could be considered a bit loose anyway.
Iím hoping after my 3 month visit that I will get clearance to start doing some breaststroke and get a better idea of what my timeline will be for getting back to regular strokes. Until then, I am still in kicking purgatory. And it is definitely purgatory!! Itís been a love/hate relationship the past few weeks, thatís for sure. There are days where I feel all lonely in the gutter lane while I watch my teammates zoom by, but at the same time I am just thankful to be in the water. I constantly have to remind myself that I knew exactly what I was getting into, and that this is for the long term, and that Iím still putting in the time. It is frustrating though because I just want the time to go by faster, yet I know that there really is no rush. Such conflicting feelings!
Iíve still been averaging 2500-3000 3x per week, which is about as much as I can do if I want to keep my legs from feeling like complete jello. My legs are sore ALL the time these days and I can definitely feel it with just one flight of stairs! My ankles are also super sore and crazy flexible right now too, so my big fear at the moment is that Iím going to trip, stumble, and/or fall and re-injure my shoulder, lol. Coach says its time to start weaning off the fins so that might help a bit with the soreness (but not with the boredom! lol).
To help combat the kicking purgatory Iíve also started to re-vamp my gym routine. Iíve recently been given the OK to start using some of the upper body weight machines so Iím really starting to focus on strengthening work again. Iíve upped the weight/resistance on a lot of my PT exercises and have been incorporating a lot of core work too. Last year I literally focused the entirety of my strengthening work on my shoulder(s), so Iím trying to bring back some balance now that I donít have to worry about my shoulder as much
Till next timeÖ.which will probably be in breaststroke purgatory
Still kicking along, averaging 3 practices a week for the past 3 weeks. Getting in about 23-2500 per practice, but I did a solid 3000 on New Years day practice just to start 2013 off right! Gotta say that my legs have been feeling pretty dead lately, and I anticipate that my pants will fit tighter in the thigh area soon lol.
Last time I mentioned that I had purchased a training snorkel, and I must say this might be the best swim toy EVER. Makes kicking on my stomach with my arms at my side a total breeze, even though looking at all the dirt and hairballs at the bottom of the pool gets a little boring after a while lol (sometimes I try to imagine the hairballs and bandaids as tropical fish and corals). But I could literally kick all day long with my snorkel. Itís amazing how relaxed you become and how your swimming transforms when you have a full and unrestricted supply of airÖand Iím just kicking! I cannot wait to use it with strokes and drills when my shoulder is all healed. I can already feel my core and my lungs getting stronger. Iíve been called a Ďrollerí with my freestyle before and coach was always telling me to Ďanchor my vesselíÖ.so spending several weeks doing nothing but kicking on the straight and narrow will only help! Also, apparently kicking this way is allowing me to practice true Ďforwardí kicking rather than Ďupwardsí kicking that you do when using a kickboard (read this in some USMS training article). So if you donít already use a training snorkel I highly recommend you give it a try! What an awesome tool!
Still making improvements at PTÖ.had my appointment earlier this week and I am improving spot on schedule. Forward flexation is now at 160 degrees (last session was 152) which is actually considered in the Ďnormalí range, but I still have a bit further to go to match the flexibility of my other arm. External rotation was at 55 (last session 50) and this time my lateral external rotation (lying down with my arm abducted at 90 degrees) was measured, and that was 70 degrees (normal range 80-90, so Iím definitely on track!). I was then put through a few isometic strength tests which I easily passed. I left with one additional exercise to do with weights and I was upgraded to the next stretch band level. Officially going to PT every other week now!